Bronco Basketball Teams Ready for Christmas

Before taking time off for the holidays, the Santa Clara men's basketball team welcomes Alcorn State, Wagner and SMU to the Leavey Center for the 46th annual Cable Car Classic on Dec. 21 and 22. The Broncos, who are off to their best start since 1988-89, look to extend their four-game win streak (9-2 overall), as they meet Alcorn State at 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 21.

The women's team has wrapped up their schedule before the holiday, and welcome Fresno State to the Leavey Center on Dec. 29 for a 2 p.m. date with the Bulldogs. They are coming off a four-game road trip through California, which saw them take down a strong Long Beach State squad, San Jose State and CSU Bakersfield.  After hosting FSU and UNLV, they open WCC play at Portland on Jan. 3.

After taking care of business at the Cable Car Classic, the men's team is ready for a short break. Fifth-year senior Marc Trasolini is looking forward to spending his three day break with friends and family in his native Vancouver, British Columbia. Senior John McArthur, sophomore Denzel Johnson and senior Niyi Harrison all agree that they can't wait to get home for the holidays.

Johnson, a 6-3 guard from Fresno, Calif., points out sophomores Brandon Clark and Rob Garrett would partner to make a great elf and Santa Claus combination. "It would be Rob and then Brandon would be one of his elves. Brandon has a great sense of humor and he would make the kids laugh," said Johnson.

Harrison also made a case for Clark's elf ability, adding, "He is a great singer. He can really hit the high notes."

Meanwhile, on Dec. 15 the women's basketball team helped spread the Christmas spirit by caroling at a nearby retirement home. Sophomore guard Raquel Avila, when asked about the worst caroler on the team, jokes that senior guard Meagan Fulps could use some singing lessons. "She's terrible," Avila quipped.

Senior forward Ashley Armstrong disagreed with Avila, pointing out that red-shirt junior center Ruta Zurauskyte had a great attitude, but may consider joining Fulps in singing lessons. "She didn't know any of the lyrics, she couldn't keep a tune, and she broke out laughing halfway through. She is my favorite caroler for sure," said Armstrong.

In Zurauskyte's defense, she was born and grew up in Lithuania. She is, however, a key factor in the women's basketball team's recent success. The 6-4 center is averaging 10.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Fulps, who recently scored her 1,000th career point as a Bronco, also must be spending more time in the gym than thinking about those singing lessons. The 5-7 guard is averaging 13.1 points a game and is shooting .420 from distance.

Before signing off, a handful of the Broncos hinted at what they hope to find under the Christmas tree. Fifth-year senior Lindsay Leo is hoping for a new sound system, Armstrong needs new body work for her car, Avila is looking forward to finding new headbands and Shelby Swofford sums it all up with her wish, saying, "I just want  money."